Well a few weeks ago, after Tudor let me know that a hydro could probably handle both mowing and gardening chores, I was able to scoop up this nicely painted Massey 12 Hydro.
It has a great paint job, just needs a few cosmetic items to look right, the front trim ring being one of them. I have been working this tractor down at my Dad's house to help me out there, and I've felt some odd things from under the seat, as if the frame were twisting when I went over some of his drainage ditches. I also found (sorry, no pics) that the backing plate which mounts the sleeve hitch not only is cracked, but that it was welded to the drawbar tongue AND THOSE WELDS FAILED! and the mounting plate bent. I tried to correct the frame twisting by drilling a hole through the backing plate and the drawbar and bolting things back together just in case the backing plate stiffened the assembly by being welded to the drawbar tongue. The twisting feeling continued afterward, so I started looking for a crack. Here are some pics where I think things may be cracked. I would plan to grind out the existing metal, weld it, then put a piece of 1/4x2 metal bar across the joint and weld that around the edges. Can anyone else see a crack in these pictures? Has anyone experienced a crack in this area? FYI, it is in the area right in front of the seat pan, and there is already a factory weld across the horizontal frame in this area.
Also, how much prep should I do regarding fuel, transmission oil and the electrical system? I think the minimum would be to disconnect the battery ground. Should I disconnect the engine from the regulator as well? Should I drain the gas tank, trans, and engine oil?
You found the one weak spot that I found using the FEL
. It took me 3 repairs before I figured out what the problem was and cured it permanently.
These are torquey little beasts. When using a front blade or FEL
, the blade or bucket will stop when loaded, but the back wheels will keep driving ahead and buckle the frame at its weakest point. Eventually, the splice fails right where your camera is pointing.
Grind it out and clean it up, fill the gas tank, disconnect the battery, close the hood, and weld it. As long as the hydro is buttoned up, it'll be fine. You can add a backer if you want, but a better way, if space is available, is to add a brace from the frame ahead of the splice back to and bearing on the axle if you plan on using an implement that you push, like a front blade or snowblower, or even if you're going to use it to push cars around.
The proper plow harness for the MF
12 hooks on the hitch plate and is usually enough to protect that splice. From the damage that you have listed, I suspect that at some time that tractor had a front blade and was doing some heavy dirt work which beat up the rear hitch and they made a mod to push the blade from further forward on the frame to bypass the damage, thus exercising the splice, instead of fixing the hitch properly. It gets your attention when you look down and find the back wheels advancing to the fenders when the front of the tractor is stopped dead.
The safest place for pushing is from the axle tubes if you want to eliminate this type of damage. When the blade stops, so does the axle. No more flex. I ran the FEL
for 5 more years with no more problems after I added the braces back to the axle tubes from the loader post subframe. My FEL
subframe recommendation now, for all GTs
, is to mount it tight to the front of the axle tubes and bolted to the frame as close to the front axle as possible. Fastening it at the midpoint of the frame is a waste of good fasteners.
Since it seems to be a normal failure point (I thought it was just me overloading the poor tractor), I would strongly recommend that anyone doing a frame off refurbishment take a good hard look at that splice, and repair or modify for strength as required. It appears to be a manufacturers error in design, and not so much from abuse as I originally thought.